Whilst NFL attendances and television audiences plunge for various reasons related to events both on and off the field, the blockchain looks set to inspire an innovative new alternative to traditional football marrying the real life game to its virtual e-sports equivalent, as manifested in the Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL).
And whilst events on and off the field are generally out of hands of traditional sports fans, FCFL is looking to exploit the inherent democracy of the blockchain model by handing control over both to fans themselves.
Fans To Direct Strategy and Tactics
The FCFL idea is simple – create an alternative to the established football leagues by allowing fans to make all calls on strategic team decisions. Those calls are made via use of the FAN token (Fan Access Network) which will grant supporters the collective ability to direct their team’s every move on the field (tactics) and off it (strategy – think either hiring or firing that coach).
These are not instructions performed by avatars in some virtual reality environment, but actual humans taking their orders in real-time from those who are following them in the stadium and from their armchairs at home.
The idea sounds far-fetched. So instead of risking money on the idea, the people behind FCFL initially experimented with the concept by creating a single team – the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles – who were introduced to the Indoor Football League in 2017.
The subsequent decision to go all in for creating an entirely autonomous fan-controlled league was unanimous – such was the success of the trial, the project team is now making plans to finance a full-scale, fan-controlled league through its upcoming token sale.
In the new proposed 8-team league, the winning side over the season collect a $1 million bounty, some of which will be distributed back to the team’s most influential fans.
Described by Mark Cuban as “the ultimate fantasy football crowdsourcing game,” the associated app places control squarely in the hands of the fans and has already been successfully trialled by the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles.
As well as directing game plays, fans will nominate players and budgets and vote for their favourite cheerleaders.
Although the platform appears ideally suited to the stop/start formula of American football, the founders of FCFL are hoping to operate a franchise model for other sports such as soccer and cricket around the same FAN token.
The pre-sale of FAN Token, the first token sale ever hosted by crowdfunder Indiegogo, exceeded the initial goal and raised over $5.2 million from more than 600 investors.
The start of the public ICO date has yet to be announced but is expected to be held at some point in Q1 of 2018, with the token going on sale for around 1 ETH to 7,500 FAN.